How Accounts Payable KPIs Drive Performance | Loop


October 5, 2023·3min read

One crucial aspect of financial management is accounts payable (A/P). Efficient A/P operations are vital for maintaining healthy cash flow, vendor relationships, and overall business success. To achieve this efficiency, organisations rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and improve their A/P processes.


What are KPIs?

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are metrics that businesses use to assess the success of their operations. In accounting and finance, particularly in the accounts payable department, KPIs play a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency and decision-making.


Accounts Payable KPIs for Performance Improvement


Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio 

This ratio tracks how many times a company pays its creditors over an accounting period, offering insights into short-term liquidity.

Formula: A/P Turnover = Net credit purchases ÷ Average A/P


Average Accounts Payable

Understanding the average debt carried by your business helps detect financial patterns and assess operational health.

Formula: Average A/P = (Beginning A/P for a period + Ending A/P) ÷ 2


Cost per Invoice

This metric calculates the average expenditure to process an invoice, revealing the overall efficiency of A/P processes.

Formula: Cost per Invoice = Total A/P costs ÷ Number of invoices


Days Payable Outstanding (DPO)

DPO measures the average time taken to pay suppliers after receiving goods or services, providing insights into cash flow management.

Formula: DPO = (Average A/P x Number of days in the accounting period) ÷ Cost of goods sold


Early Discount Capture Rate

Tracking how often early payment discounts are utilised helps assess the trade-off between cash flow flexibility and increased costs.

Formula: Early discount capture rate = Number of discounts used ÷ Number of discounts offered


Error Rate

Minimising incorrect payments is essential for preserving vendor relationships and cash flow. Lower error rates indicate accuracy in payment processes.

Formula: Error rate = Number of incorrect payments ÷ Number of invoices paid


Exception Rate

This metric identifies problematic invoices requiring additional review, allowing timely resolution of issues.

Formula: Exception rate = Number of problematic invoices ÷ Number of invoices received


Invoices Processed per Employee

Tracking employee efficiency in processing invoices helps optimise workforce allocation and identify process bottlenecks.

Formula: Invoices processed per employee = Number of invoices processed ÷ Number of A/P staff


Late Payment Rate

Monitoring late payments, even when strategic, helps identify areas for improvement in cash flow management.

Formula: Late payment rate = Number of late payments ÷ Number of total payments


Per-Vendor Spending

Determining how much is spent with specific vendors aids in prioritising critical supplier relationships.


Ratio of Electronic vs. Paper Invoices

Transitioning to digital processes enhances efficiency and reduces manual errors.

Formula: Electronic/paper invoice ratio = Number of electronic invoices ÷ Total number of invoices


Time per Invoice

Tracking the time needed to process invoices helps identify bottlenecks affecting payment windows and supplier relationships.

Formula: Time per invoice = Time spent processing invoices ÷ Number of invoices processed


Touchless Invoice Rate

Assessing the proportion of invoices processed without human interaction measures automation success and efficiency.

Formula: Touchless invoice rate = Number of invoices processed straight through ÷ Number of invoices processed


Leveraging Automation for A/P KPI Success

Implementing automation through tools like Loop invoicing software can significantly enhance A/P KPIs. Automation can:


  • Accelerate cycle times, reducing processing delays and late payments.


  • Limit fraud by minimising human interaction with critical financial data.



  • Reduce errors by eliminating manual data entry.


  • Strengthen cash flow management by optimising payment processes.


Invoice offers flexible automation solutions, allowing businesses to customise their invoicing processes to meet specific needs. Whether you’re just beginning your automation journey or seeking to enhance existing processes, Invoiced provides the tools for A/P success.


In conclusion, A/P KPIs are essential for driving performance improvements in your organisation. By carefully monitoring and optimising these metrics, businesses can enhance efficiency, maintain strong vendor relationships, and ultimately achieve financial success. Leveraging automation tools like Loop invoicing software further empowers organisations to reach and exceed their A/P KPI targets.


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